I’ve posted about this elsewhere, but there’s a strange book from my childhood that both my sister and I remember. I say activity book, but it wasn’t really an activity book. There was no place to draw or anything in the book. Here are some details:
*It was probably published around 1980-1985, I would have read it from 1987-1991, and I believe it was my sister’s before I got it. It was about a 2nd to 5th grade reading level. Some pics, some text.
*The cover was a dark blue/teal, the title was a garish reddish color, and there was a knight on it
*I remember the title being kind of long, and ending with the words “…for kids!”
*The book was really non-sequitur, and went all over the place. One page might be a math puzzle, the next might be a story about baseball.
*There was a recurring theme of a medieval knight throughout the whole thing, and he would just pop up randomly to comment on stuff
*There were a lot of jokes about “the author/publisher of this book blah blah blah” and “the editors of this book blah blah blah.” Probably way over my head at the time.
*The last page was a memorization game
*I believe there was one page with a large blue square on it, and a paragraph talking about the significance of that square.
*There was at least one math word problem, and I believe it involved crickets or grasshoppers
*There was a story about baseball, maybe about the history of baseball?
*There was a brief page about lead in pencils, and how it’s called lead, but it’s really graphite
As for the style of the book, it’s almost as if a bunch of people with a similar sense of humor got together and decided to make a kids book, but not talk to each other about it. It was that bizarre. Almost every page was a different subject, and the only recurring motif at all was the random knight. The book constantly broke the fourth wall, and the writer(s) would make fun of the characters on that page, or the random knight would make fun of the author(s). Someone stated that it sounds like Monty Python, and it was a lot in that same vein of humor. If Monty Python made a kids book, it would be very similar to the one I’m looking for.
It’s entirely possible that it was written by a group of people, and possibly as a joke.
For what it’s worth, my grandmother lived in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina during my youth (the 1980’s). She had moved there from northern New Jersey in the late 1970s. She was a kindergarten teacher for most of her life. Furthermore, her sister (my great-aunt) had actually published a few books (one of them a children’s book) during the 1960s, and lived in Washington DC until the mid 1980s. So there were strong ties in those places. The book could have been published by a small publisher in any of those places, and somehow made it’s way to my grandmother.
Again, thanks for your help!